Vitamin gummies are chewable and jelly-like (jello). They are similar to chewable sweets which makes them both easy to take, convenient (you can keep them in your desk drawer and don’t need to wash them down with liquid) and in most cases are pleasant to eat. They are a great way to get vitamins and minerals into children or adults who don’t like to swallow tablets. They’ve stood the test of time too, as they’ve now been available for around ten years. And interestingly, although originally aimed at children, adults make up the largest percentage of the market.
Global vitamin gummies market
The biggest challenge with vitamin gummies is quality. Like all vitamin and mineral supplements, the global gummy market is massive and variable in quality of products. In a 2017 supplement analysis, it was discovered that four out of five gummy products contained more or less than their listed amounts of ingredients. But that doesn’t seem to reduce our love of chewing our way through them. The global gummy vitamins market size was $5.7 billion in 2018, and is projected reach $9.3 billion by 2026.
Sugar quantity in vitamin gummies
Sadly, many brands contain sugar or glucose syrup, artificial sweeteners and a questionable amount of the useful vitamin and mineral. Other brands are much better, but you need to shop around. Many gummy products for both children and adults contain one or more grams of sugar per gummy. While that might not sound a lot, if you are taking multiple gummies each day, this can soon add up and can be like eating regular sweets.
What if I told you it’s really simple and cheap to make your own high quality vitamin C gummies!
Do Sugar free Vitamin C Gummies exist?
For those on a Candida free diet [hello you, contact me if you need candida diet coaching!], you can make them without any sugar or sweetener. If you’re not on a sugar-free diet, you could add some honey to these. You can also choose how much vitamin C to use, which means you can control the dose. You might like to have different strengths for different people / situations. If you’re in contact with someone with an infection, for example, you could make a stronger batch, as vitamin C can help support the immune system to fight infections.
RDA vitamin C for adults
The RDA for adults of vitamin C is a tiny 40gm per day, as set out by Public Health England. However, vitamin C is neither stored in the body nor made by the body, so you need to ensure you’re getting a daily amount from food sources such as oranges, peppers, kiwi, strawberries and broccoli. If you take too much vitamin C you’ll quickly get diarrhoea, which is the body’s way to getting rid of the excess. The NHS say “Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.” [source] Harvard Medical School say the highest daily intake likely to pose no risks for adults is 2,000 mg per day [source]. GPs like Dr Sarah Myhill, on the other hand, are proponents of very high amounts of vitamin C and say it is safely regulated by the body, so take as much as you like and monitor yourself to ‘bowel tolerance’. She says that in times of infection, your body will naturally tolerate more [source].
Make your own vitamin gummies with three ingredients!
The three ingredients you’ll need are juice from fresh oranges, gelatine powder and vitamin C powder. You’ll also need a suitable mould. I use ice cube trays, but you can just make a bowl of this ‘jelly’ and cut into pieces once it is set.
While many people baulk at the thought of eating gelatine, a good quality, pasture fed, ethically sourced gelatine is actually a superfood in my opinion. Gelatin is rich in protein and has a unique amino acid profile that gives it many potential health benefits. There is evidence that gelatin may improve joint and bone health, improve hair and skin condition, increase brain function, improve sleep and repair a leaky gut. Read more about the benefits of gelatin here.
How to work out how much vitamin C powder to use
For this recipe, I’m making 45 small gummies. I’ve calculated each one contains around 90mgs of vitamin C, so if you want to take 1mg per day of vitamin C, you’ll be eating around 10 gummies. Think of it like eating a small bowl of jelly. If you want less vitamin C, then just drop the dose of vitamin C powder. If you want more, increase it (or just eat more of this delicious treat!) Remember that one orange will provide around 50mg of vitamin C as well. I also have a large ‘whisky ice cube’ tray – sometimes I’ll make just four large gummies with this mix and then I know that one portion of ‘jelly’ is 1gm of vitamin C. Whatever works for you is fine! Here is an example of Large Ice Cube Tray .
Sugar free Vitamin C Gummies Recipe
- 3 fresh oranges to create around 200mls juice
- Powdered Gelatine – 15 gms (I use Ossa Pasture Raised, Pure Gelatin) [edit. Now out of stock on Amazon. Try this brand instead.]
- Vitamin C powder 4 gms (or adjust for your preference. I use Biocare Vitamin C Powder and am an approved seller – please contact me if you want advice on BioCare products.)
- Squeeze the juice from your fresh oranges until you get around 200mls of juice.
- Put the juice into a saucepan
- Sprinkle over the gelatine powder and leave for 3 -5 minutes until it starts to look thick and bloomy.
- Now very gently, start to warm the juice and gelatine. I stir mine all the time over a low heat for about 3 minutes, to dissolve the gelatine. You do not want to let this get too hot.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool to finger temperature, then stir in the vitamin C powder. Vitamin C is destroyed by heat, which is why you don’t want to let your mixture get too hot, or add the vitamin C powder too early.
- Pour your gummy mix into your mould and put it in the fridge until set – around three hours.
How to store and use your home made vitamin gummies
Your gummies will store for a week or more in the fridge.
You can scale this recipe up or down, depending on how much vitamin C you want to take in a day. A batch like this will last me around four days and I just pick at one or two gummies throughout the day whenever I go to the ‘fridge!
This morning I’m experimenting with blackcurrant and blueberry too – I’ll let you know how I get on!